So we’ve made it through to the 21st of May and we’ve only just discovered that apparently May is National Walking Month. It does seem like there’s a month or a day for everything nowadays, but we think walking is brilliant so we’re happy to get on board with this one!
Why should you care?
So why should you care about walking? Sounds like a lot of effort, right? Well as mentioned above we think it’s brilliant, but don’t take our word for it – here are some cold hard facts (ish) as to why you should get out there and have a stroll.
It’s good for your heart.
You’re young, you’re fit, you can walk up the stairs without panting for breath and having to have a bit of a sit down. You don’t need to worry about your heart, right? WRONG. Being healthy and active from a young age not only strengthens your heart muscle, it also reduces the risk of both heart disease and strokes, with a brisk 30 minute walk reducing the risk of a stroke by as much as 27%. And if that’s not enough it reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol too!
It helps you lose weight.
Statistically we’re getting tubbier as a nation, and from a younger age. Speaking as (rapidly approaching) middle aged ex unfit obese gentleman, I can tell you from experience that the longer you leave it, the harder it becomes to get back into shape. So do yourself a favour and get into good habits now – walking at 4mph on the flat (easy!) for 30 minutes will burn up around 150 calories. That’s not to be sniffed at!
It’s a surprisingly good workout.
And it’s really low impact too. A stiff walk will activate your calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads and abdominals (basically legs, bum and tum) with little to no risk of injury. Unless you’re on a knife edge ridge in the Lake District, but that’s another story. If you want to start your journey to fitness and losing weight then walking is a brilliant way to do it.
It’s a great stress buster.
Now we’re not saying that having a wander around the campus is going to make all your cares disappear; clearly it won’t. But a bit of exercise in the fresh air can work wonders for your general well being and help to clear your head.
How do you do it?
Sounds like a stupid question, right? You put one foot in front of the other. Easy. But actually in today’s busy lifestyles it can be surprisingly tricky to make time for even a short time walking every day. Here are a few ideas as to how you could do it…
Walk to work, or Uni, or town, or…
This might not be much help if you live in The Courtyard and go to lectures on campus, but if you live at The Lawns why not consider walking to or from lectures and exams? According to google maps it’s 2.9 miles from campus to the Lawns, and it should take you 57 minutes – we reckon you can beat that easy. And we wouldn’t judge you if you stopped at a pub on the way home.
If you live on campus, why not walk next time you go into town? You can always get a bus back if you’re tired, but you’ll have the perfect excuse to have a pizza cone from Trinity Market. Have a stroll around Beresford Park off Beverley Road, or down to Pearson Park off Princes Avenue (where it’s pretty much the law to have an ice cream before you head back). Not only will you start to get fitter, you’ll also discover parts of Hull that you never even knew existed.
Go for a walk at lunchtime.
We’re super lucky here at Hull University in that we have a huge, beautiful campus. Go explore it! There is absolutely TONS to see, and it’s constantly changing too. Have you seen all the Larkin toads around campus? Or the Cairns sculptures (the ones that are still left)? Go see what you can find, and why not take a selfie and share it to our Twitter or Facebook while you’re there? Who knows, you might even inspire others to do the same.
Go on a proper adventure.
It just so happens that you’re within easy transport distance of some of the best walking countryside in the UK, possibly the world. If you’re in the Lawns then you’re literally a stone’s throw from the Yorkshire Wolds (just head towards Skidby) and it’s an easy train ride to the Peak District or Scarborough which give you tons of options. If you have access to a car then the entirety of the Moors and the Dales is easily in your reach, and if you have a couple of days and a tent then there’s the Lake District, Snowdonia… More miles of lovely trails than you’re ever likely to have time to walk.
If the idea of being in the wilds with no 4G signal and miles to the nearest toilet doesn’t appeal then why not do some city exploration? There is tons to see in the centre of Hull alone – you could walk around the Marina, head out down Bank Side and see the graffiti galleries, visit one of the many markets or festivals that take place over summer… And if you fancy something different then you could hop on a train to York, or Sheffield, or Leeds, or London (just avoid the tube when you get there!).
We’re massive fans of getting out in the outdoors for a bit of fresh air and exercise, and there’s not much to beat walking for doing it. It’s basically free (you certainly don’t need any special equipment until you start clambering up mountains) and the UK is brilliantly geared up for walking access, with rights of way all over the country for you to explore. Just make sure that if you are going out in the wilds that you know where you’re going and are well prepared – that beautiful countryside can become quite hostile if the fog descends or it gets dark and you don’t know where you are. But most of all get out there and enjoy!